National Emission Ceilings Directive

The National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD), sets emission limits, or 'ceilings', for each Member State, and the European Union as a whole. Ceilings are specified for four important air pollutants: nitrogen oxides (NOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ammonia (NH3). As of 2010, all Member States are required to meet their emission ceilings.

These pollutants can cause respiratory problems, contribute to the acidification of soil and surface water, cause eutrophication in sensitive habitats and damage vegetation through exposure to ozone resulting from these emissions.[1][2]

Reporting by Member States

The NECD highlights the importance of reporting air pollutant emission data for assessing progress in reducing air pollution in the EU and for ascertaining whether Member States are in compliance with their commitments. By 31 December each year, all 28 EU Member States report information to the European Commission and EEA on emissions of the four air pollutants NOx, NMVOCs, SO2 and NH3.

To help ensure that information on emissions reported by Member States is consistent and harmonised, the NECD requires Member States to follow the methodologies agreed upon by the UNECE LRTAP Convention.[3] It also requests that Member States use the EMEP/EEA air pollutant emission inventory guidebook in preparing their inventories.

Annual status report and NECD data

Each year, EEA supported by its European Topic Centre on Air Pollution and Climate Change Mitigation (ETC/ACM) compiles and checks the data reported by Member States under the NECD. In addition:

  • Annual status reports are prepared that summarise the most recent reported data and progress of Member States and the EU in meeting their emission ceiling obligations; see the latest status reports below.
  • Data are made available in an online data viewer and as a downloadable data set.

Revision of the NECD

In late 2013 the European Commission proposed a new European Clean Air Programme.[4] One objective of the programme is to reduce the impact of air pollution beyond 2020 (2030 is the target year). A proposal for a revised NECD formed part of the Clean Air Programme. The proposal included new national emission reduction commitments, applicable from 2020 and 2030, for NOx, NMVOCs, SO2, NH3, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and methane (CH4). The proposed directive is presently under negotiation between the European Parliament and European Council of Member States.

References

[1] EEA (2015), Air quality in Europe - 2015 report

[2] EEA (2016), Exceedance of air quality limit values in urban areas

[3] UN ECE (2016), The Air Convention

[4] European Commission (2013), Clean Air Policy Package

NEC Directive reporting

NEC Directive reporting status 2015

As of 2010, all European Union Member States are required to meet their emission ceilings set for main air pollutants in Directive 2001/81/EC. The briefing presents preliminary data reported for 2014 and final data for 2010-2013.

NEC Directive reporting status 2015 - Read More…

NEC Directive status report 2014

Reporting by Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

NEC Directive status report 2014 - Read More…

NEC Directive status report 2013

Reporting by Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

NEC Directive status report 2013 - Read More…

NEC Directive status report 2012

Reporting by the Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

NEC Directive status report 2012 - Read More…

Evaluation of progress under the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive

This report considers whether the EU has successfully addressed environmental and health objectives for 2010, set out when the National Emission Ceilings Directive was adopted in 2001. Certain objectives appear to be met according to the original scientific understanding used to inform the directive. But when using the improved scientific understanding of air pollution now available, it is clear that emissions need to be even further reduced to protect health and the environment.

Evaluation of progress under the EU National Emission Ceilings Directive - Read More…

NEC Directive status report 2011

Reporting by the Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

NEC Directive status report 2011 - Read More…

NEC Directive status report 2010

Reporting by the Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants

NEC Directive status report 2010 - Read More…

NEC Directive status report 2009

Reporting by the Member States under Directive 2001/81/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2001 on national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants.

NEC Directive status report 2009 - Read More…

Related content

Related data

Related indicators

Related publications

See also

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100